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Residents who evacuated due to Backbone Fire allowed back home

Officials have lifted the evacuations of Pine, Strawberry and Hunt Ranch due to the Backbone Fire as of Sunday.

PINE, Ariz. — Evacuations have been lifted for Pine, Strawberry and Hunt Ranch after the Backbone Fire caused hundreds to leave their homes nearly 10 days ago. 

The Backbone Fire was started by lightning and burned within two miles of Strawberry. 

"I was thrilled to see the plans come and the fire department," Strawberry resident Ricky Simone said. "They saved the day."

Simone has been renovating a hotel in Strawberry and had to leave it behind, not knowing what would be left when he returned. 

RELATED: Backbone Fire evacuations lifted for all residents, tops 40,000 acres

He returned to town on Saturday to find everything still standing. 

"You know, your life is more important," he said, "And stuff can be replaced."

Amber Eilers runs the Strawberry Inn, which was housing firefighters during the fight. She came back Saturday night as well. 

"It got a little emotional, waiting it out," Eilers said.

The hotel was safe, but now Eilers is worried about the loss of business during peak tourist season. 

Arizona Wildfire Season

Here is a compilation of videos of wildfire activity across the Grand Canyon state.

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